The Caterpillar Killer!

As you may have noticed I’ve been away from home this week.  The day before we left my friend, Vanessa, who lives with us pointed out a few small, yellow, worm-like caterpillars on the kitchen ceiling. Disgusted with their presence, and being a bit of a neat-freak about keeping the kitchen clean and tidy, I climbed on top of the counter with a tissue and carefully “smushed” the “things.”  A few days prior we had noticed some very small moths flying around the kitchen so surmised that these were related to the moths. The weather had been warmer than usual, so we figured it was just some kind of weird phenomenon that would last for the day.  A few days ago (still out of the country) I received this facebook message from Vanessa:

Jeanie!! the worms/maggets/larvae… whatever they are… took over the kitchen!! I must’ve killed like 100 over the course of yesterday… it was so gross. but then it got worse. I started pulling food out of the pantry today to try to find out where they were coming from… and they were inside the cereal boxes… and tons of other things!! AHHHH! I was freaking out. I pulled out everything and found thousands of the larvae on the very bottom of the pantry… I thought I was going to throw up… so gross. I’ll probably have nightmares tonight. Anyway… I think I got it mostly cleaned up – we shall see. I keep feeling like I have worms crawling on me. I threw a lot of the cereal away (most of them were almost gone anyway) because they had gotten inside the boxes and then were hatching moths. Ug… I could never be an exterminator!!

Anyway… just thought I’d share that with you! Hope you guys are doing well!!

My response:

  • oh nooooo. I’m so sorry. Just got this message! That is absolutely disgusting! I wonder how this happens. I’d like to call them baby moth caterpillers. It sounds way better than maggots. I have to say…as gross as this is your message makes me laugh just a little. Forgive me
    • actually…I laughed out loud…

Vanesa:   hahaha…. well, I’m glad that it made you laugh!!  just call me the Caterpillar Killer!!


This disgusting turn of events made me wonder if I had consumed any of this “contaminated” cereal.  This certainly gives new meaning to “butterflies in my stomach”.  It also reminded me of two scriptures.  The first is Mark 7:20-23

    He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ [21] For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, [22] greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. [23] All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ ”

The second is Hebrews 12:15

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

This little moth adventure is a reminder to me that unless I deal with the source of something it will keep coming back!  Whacking the moths became a futile exercise.  The sources, in the pantry, in the cereal boxes and below had to be completely removed!  Will I (we) allow any bits of unforgiveness, greed, deceit,… to dig into the corners of our hearts like the moth larvae did in the cereal boxes of my pantry?  If so, the moths..and the sins will keep coming. I want to pray as David did,

Psalm 139:1-4

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.


    O Lord, you have searched me

        and you know me.

    [2] You know when I sit and when I rise;

        you perceive my thoughts from afar.

    [3] You discern my going out and my lying down;

        you are familiar with all my ways.

    [4] Before a word is on my tongue

        you know it completely, O Lord.



    Search me, O God, and know my heart;

        test me and know my anxious thoughts.

    [24] See if there is any offensive way in me,

        and lead me in the way everlasting.






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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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